Life Coaching with the MLS Players Union...and why you should care

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CHANGE

That was the takeaway.

For me, for them and for all of you. 

I hosted a 2-hour Career Development Workshop last week with 20 MLS players aimed to empower them and help them conceive of their lives after soccer. Not a popular topic for any pro athlete. But concept of change was clearly the most essential aspect of our time together.  

These guys are super-athletes - totally dedicated to their craft. They've played soccer all their lives on many teams and they've managed to play at the top level in North America. Achievers. The guys I met were clearly very smart and very focused professionals - I mean, being a union representative is a big deal. But in terms of their non-soccer lives -  they needed to be reminded that they can do anything

We all need to be reminded that we can do anything. 

I was invited to The Bellagio for two nights to host a workshop on developing the players' work toward a career after soccer. Obviously this is a pretty specific topic, and to a unique group of people, but the change that these guys will eventually face - is something we can all identify with. 

Change is the one thing we can all count on. Death too, that's change. So, since change is something we can all expect, we need to keep in mind that we're in control of our own path. As our path changes, so must we. We get to choose what comes next. And if we don't choose it, we get to choose how we work with it. The next steps in our lives are totally and completely up to us. Of course, the concept of Free Will comes in to play, but I'm talking about actions, habits and behaviors that direct us to taking charge of our lives.

Talking to the handful of MLS players is not much different than coaching my clients. All of the people I work with are in need of change in their life. They wouldn't be willing to work with me if they weren't anticipating big changes in their lives. They're looking for a little consult about their opportunities, highlighting their strengths and staying accountable to the action they choose. The MLS guys are in the same boat, however they're understandably resistant to it. We all can be right? 

We all need to be reminded that we can do anything

We all need to be reminded that we must do something

In the face of guaranteed change, we have the opportunity to re-invent ourselves. 

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."

-Heraclitus

We get to choose the next steps we take...every damn day. But our mentality around change -- our mentality in general needs fine-tuning. Sitting back, letting changes happen TO us can be dis-empowering, leaving us feeling melancholy, or powerless. So, the only reasonable thing to do is to make a plan, and execute on it. Leeeeeean into the coming change with boldness. Tuning into the coming change, picking up it's scent, identifying it's shape and dimension is key. On the cusp of major change ask yourself this:

"What can I do to be graceful with this change?"

Really try it. If you've got changes coming, pinpoint the characteristics of your specific situation and ask yourself that question...then be quiet. Be quiet for a few minutes...do this in the shower or in meditation, or before going to sleep. See what comes back to you. Sometimes all we need to do is ask questions to ourselves (and highest self, and spirit guides) and see if steps present themselves. 

The MLS guys know that they'll play for a finite amount of time, but deviating their focus from playing at the pinnacle of their potential can feel too risky. To be distracted from the game can be costly for some guys. Off the field stuff isn't supposed to interfere with their play. The parallel for the rest of us is, that we get so focused on our current reality; bills, family affairs, habits, rhythms and lethargy keep us in jobs we don't want, relationships that no longer serve us and lives that we feel disconnected from. 

You have a lot at stake. I know. Your savings, your reputation, your place in the world. But, the importance your place on those elements in your life are keeping you stagnant. I know how hard it is to consider risking the things you've worked for....trust me, I know... but taking that risk by  stepping forward into your life will keep you growing. We need change in order to keep growing. We need to fail and correct mistakes. We need to expand our awareness so that the inspired path forward can emerge. Then we take action.

So, upon facing a change (which will happen) take a minute to consider your power in your own life. Lean into the coming change. Ask yourself how you can be graceful in the transition and quietly listen. If you get crickets - plot your next move anyway - and remember, you can do anything. 

 

Sean